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Ive been avoiding checking this cam because its right in the action over where Im hunting but curiosity got to me today after sitting in ambush all day long and nothing moving.
Over summer I got many pics of deer here, but the last 30 days this is the only pic I got. hes a beast of a 3 pointer.
Screenshot_20221003-205206.png

(yes, my cheap trailcam sucks bad but its been a workhorse anyways...)

So, I have no pattern on this guy and at a loss on how to pattern his movements. I saw a huge deer track near my stand a week before opening day. To the right of the camera is an area with lots of droppings and today I found 1 good sized buck rub thats fresh this year. I dunno if its his but everything is within a 100yds or so of the camera.
 
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I wont have time to build one this year, it would have to be a summer project it seems. One thing i dont like about tree stands is not just the legality of it but i mainly dont want to encourage others to hunt my spots. I know where a couple are and I purposely dont hunt there so whoever uses them has their spot but my guess is probably most hunters wouldnt do that. The spots ive scouted id prefer to leave them uninviting....

Get him koda!
 
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I've been thinking kinda the same way you are, Koda. Normally I hunt the east units, but lack of points for the hunt(s) my huntin' partner & I would like to hunt make waiting for a few years to draw seem like not much to look forward to. That, and the fact that a buck and doe keep feeding on my Mountain Ash on my property has made me think about hunting more "locally" to Sandy, where I live near. Heck, while was unloading my gear after getting back from the Ochoco unit last month, 2 does came strolling through my yard like they had no cares in the world. :rolleyes:

So, you've helped me figure out where I need to start, and thanks for starting this thread.

An old friend of mine that hunts the west edge of the Mt/ Hood NF knows of a well used trail in his chosen area. He simply sits off the trail 10-15 yds. at a point with a couple of shooting lanes, and has no problem filling a tag that way most years. Ditto for another guy I used to worship with at church. That's his strategy as well.

For books, I used to have a book called "Trophy Tactics for Blacktail Bucks" by Boyd Iverson that was mostly helpful. I'm gonna try to find the one by Louis Terkla mentioned earlier. But no amount of reading will replace scouting, as most of us know.......

Thanks again, Koda, and others that have chimed in here.

Jimmie

Added in EDIT: Best of Luck to ya next season, Koda!
 
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Preface: I suck at blacktail hunting
Thread revival. I probably should follow up now that the season is over... the short version, I still suck at blacktail hunting.

That said, I did fill my doe tag... but there is nothing worth boasting about there. Spend enough time afield your bound to see does... usually*. Whats interesting is this year started super hot and dry for the first 3 weeks, nothing moved not even the does I was actually at the point of worry I wouldnt even fill that. 3 weekends into the season and have not heard of anyone taking a deer in the area. 4 weekends later finally some hints of bad weather arrived.... At the first hint of bad weather I was out, I only saw 3 does and took one.
Back to the bucks, I would hunt my spot off trail then give it a rest for a few days between hunting it one day a weekend. Im not certain if that helped but I didnt want to spook them all in there. My vantage point was perfect and put the wind to my face, but for 3 weeks nothing moved in there the silence took its toll on me sitting all day. One day I moved around and found 3 more beds, I was practically right on top of them. The beds were in brush so thick I had to crawl thru in places. Then I found my only fresh rubs of the season also nearby, not huge but fresh this year. The deer trail leading to it is concentrated with fresh deer scat. My spot is right in their bedroom but again, nothing has moved yet fresh sign all around. I gave the spot a rest for a full weekend where I hunted another area I know deeper into the coast range... and saved the last day for this preferred spot, rainy stormy I was hoping would stir something up. The wind was coming the other way so I had to use a different path in which was easier, I hid for several hours, for the first time donning my down coat to keep warm under the rainjacket. Nothing moved. I think they only move at night in there, even in the stormy weather.
In my head I keep thinking about the lessons learned.........
 
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In my head I keep thinking about the lessons learned.........
It’s gonna be like that as long as you hunt, Koda. The cool thing is the learning…….. :s0155: And it certainly seems like you’re doing everything right.
If it helps any, pretty much all of us here learn from our experiences.

Congrats on filling a tag! You’re on the way, Sir. And that’s better than I did this season, hee hee. :D

Added in EDIT: I suck at Blacktail hunting, too. And Mulie hunting, & Elk huntin ’ too. But I’ve learned to not be success driven, and to just enjoy the ride.

That’s probably just code for being a lousy hunter, I’m thinkin’. But still not gonna go vegetarian anytime soon…….
 
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I keep thinking about the lessons learned.........
Hot weather hunting....
it was crazy hot and dry for so long I know it impacted hunter success. One day I drove around scouting for north aspect clearcuts. Escouting showed cool shadow spots estimating sun angle and exposure layers mid afternoons peak high temps. I come back another day and set up at first light just to glass this spot, saw nothing. After a few hours the sun fully warming the hill now so I moved down to where the software indicated the coolest spot of the day, bottom of a creek draw in deep timber. As I descended the cut about 100yds below my stand I found a deer trail cutting into the draw below... 2 sets of fresh tracks, very fresh for the hot dry dust left the faint impressions with crisp edges defining the prints in the dusty trail same as my boot print. My guess they were there in the cut and knew to leave an hour before first light, maybe just one hour before me, or slipping by as I was setting up...
Like following a ghost, my first indication of something moving in the unseasonably hot weather, Hot weather lesson learned.
 
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I think it was a tuff season for everyone. I missed the first 2 weeks of season (didn't really miss much with the hot weather) due to work. I killed a small fork the second day we got any weather at all, I typically would have passed but it sounded like I wouldn't be home long. I had just enough time to process the buck and head strait back out of town for work. I'm hoping next year is better work and weather wise
 
I pretty much only hunt the Santiam unit and my experience has taught me a few things.
The big Blacktail bucks don't "pattern" well at all. While I only get to "see" thru 2 game cams, the biggest guys come thru once in a while and at scattered times. One might hang around a good food source, like an orchard, for a little while, but then disappear. For the last 4 or 5 years I've had a couple of really nice bucks come thru once or twice, not to be seen til the next year.
I've walked my legs off only to be busted, snorted at and left standing while I never saw the buck, but he was within yards of me. The ONLY success I've had walking around was when it was raining. If it's pouring, THAT's the day to be on foot.
Any other time I'm parked in a treestand and have been successful the last three years (personal record) by doing it that way. Even though I've shot a couple of very small bucks late in the season, for one reason or another I had fantastic opportunities that I missed out on earlier by doing it the same way. Let me go on record as stating that sitting in a tree all day long is torture!
All day in a tree stand? You'd better be strapped in. Before I used a real safety harness, I'd tie a rope around the tree and then tie it around my waist. No need to doze off, fall off, land on my head and die, right? I used to keep a tethered pee bottle, but gave up on that. I know some people make their own scrapes with their own piss and it works, or doesn't hurt, so I just pee off the platform. I'm terrible at hydrating so I don't pee much anyway. After having deer walk right over my pee spot I believe they don't care. I've also had them walk right under my stand and I heard NOTHING! If they aren't moving fast, you'll never hear them. Last year the sucker appeared from under my stand and caught me completely off guard.
I used to hunt land open to the public and would use a treestand with shoulder straps that I could pack in before the season. No body came in to where I hunted (most "hunters" are lazy) and messed with my stuff, but after having a stand stolen off of my own property, I lock them to the tree.
I showed it in another thread, but I shot my biggest buck to date out of my stand this year. Second day of the season, on one of those days that was "too hot" to hunt.

2022 buck a.jpg buck n ruger.jpg
 
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I have only hunted from a tree stand one time, late last century. How high do you guys go with your tree stands? Any particular brand and style of portable stand you favor?
 
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I dont think I want to chance an expensive tree stand on public lands, but i think im going to have to make some improvised ground blinds i can just leave out there...

This year I sat hidden behind sword ferns and other vegetation. It worked ok but if its raining it really sucks sitting on the ground, (even with a sit pad). Its hard to sit still all day.... And even harder the first half of the season was so hot and nothing moving.
 
The treestand I used to use, the one I packed in on my back, was given to me and I put the base of it about 10-12' off of the ground. With it I've never been so close to elk in my life and they never knew I was there. I used either a two piece ladder or screw in handhold/steps.
The one I use on our property is one that I got from Cabela's. No matter which one I use, not matter where it is. I chain and lock it to the tree. All of the "ladder stands" we've bought come with a safety harness, too.

This is the one I have.
 
I dont think I want to chance an expensive tree stand on public lands, but i think im going to have to make some improvised ground blinds i can just leave out there...

This year I sat hidden behind sword ferns and other vegetation. It worked ok but if its raining it really sucks sitting on the ground, (even with a sit pad). Its hard to sit still all day.... And even harder the first half of the season was so hot and nothing moving.
I've often packet a treestand umbrella with me and put it where it works at ground level, then sit with my back to the tree.
Something like this.
 
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The treestand I used to use, the one I packed in on my back, was given to me and I put the base of it about 10-12' off of the ground.
Id be curious to learn which one you used thats packable?

the spots Ive got deer at are on public lands and are very hard to get to off trail without a heavy pack. But thats mostly appraching them in certain wind conditions staying downwind.
 
Id be curious to learn which one you used thats packable?

the spots Ive got deer at are on public lands and are very hard to get to off trail without a heavy pack. But thats mostly appraching them in certain wind conditions staying downwind.
Uhh, I don't know! Like I said, it was given to me. Actually, I have two. You might be able to talk me out of one of them. It's a lot like this.
 
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nice. 16lbs isnt bad to pack in for what it is...
I will keep this in mind for next year Id just buy one like the link you shared.


I have come across stands built out of lumber 2x4's and smallish pieces of plywood...Over heavily used game trails somewhat deep in the woods.
Where there's a will, there's a way.
 
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I have come across stands built out of lumber 2x4's and smallish pieces of plywood...Over heavily used game trails somewhat despise in the woods.
Where there's a will, there's a way.

Ditto here. The first one I ever hunted in many moons ago, was made from three closely spaced 12-14" diameter pine trees. It had a triangular plywood platform about 15' high, 2x4 rails around it, and covered with a camo print canvas/cloth on the 3 sides. Had a nice 5-gallon bucket to sit on.

Truth be told, I probably should not be hunting out of a portable tree stand next fall. At 66 years of age, with balance waning, with a healthy fear of and discomfort from heights, and an "on/off" switch on my butt that lets me fall asleep pretty quickly, I should stay on the ground.

More on topic, for a few archery seasons, years ago, I crawled up onto oak tree limbs around 8-10' high (but sadly, with no safety harness). I liked the view, and did see a few does that way. I was told by a more experienced hunter to try NOT to attempt to approach the game by still hunting or stalking in the dry archery season. He said that I'd make too much noise, and things just worked out better if the deer/elk came to you, rather than trying to sneak up on them. He proved to be right about that numerous times........
 

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